Shannon Johnson Williams


Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

7700 Sandholdt Road

Moss Landing, CA 95039

Phone: (831) 775-1772


Role at MBARI

Shannon joined MBARI in February, 2003 as a research technician in the Molecular Ecology lab for Bob Vrijenhoek.  A few projects she is working on are: population genetics and phylogenetics of Lepetodrilid limpets from hydrothermal vents worldwide, population genetics of the bone-eating worms, Osedax, along the Pacific coast, NGS analyses of shallow water phytoplankton and zooplankton, and the evolution of the hydrothermal vent snails, Alviniconcha. She is especially interested in applying statistics to better understand complex datasets.

Educational Background

BS in Biology, UCLA (Bruins RULE!) – 1999

MS in Marine Science, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, 2003

Recent Papers

  • Johnson, S.B., Warén, A., Tunnicliffe, V., VanDover, C., Schultz, T., Wheat, G., Vrijenhoek, R.C. 2015. Molecular taxonomy and naming of five cryptic species of Alviniconcha snails (Gastropoda: Abyssochrysidae) from hydrothermal vents. Systematics and Biodiversity. In Press.
  • Higgs, N.D., Glover, A.G., Dahlgren, T.G., Smith, C.R., Fujiwara, Y., Pradillon, F., Johnson, S.B., Vrijenhoek, R.C., and Little, C.T.S. 2014. The morphological diversity of Osedax worm borings (Annelida: Siboglinidae) J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U. K. In Press.
  • Arellano, S.M, Van Gaest, A.L., Johnson, S.B., Vrijenhoek, R.C., and Young, C.M. 2014. Larvae from deep-sea methane seeps disperse in surface waters. Proc. B. 281: 20133276.
  • Johnson, S.B., Won, Y.J., Harvey, J.B.J., Vrijenhoek, R.C., 2013. A hybrid zone between Bathymodiolus mussel lineages from eastern Pacific hydrothermal vents. BMC Evol. Biol. 13: 21 pages.
  • Lundsten, L., Johnson, S.B., Cailliet, G.M., DeVogelaere, A.P., and Clague, D.A. 2012. Morphological, molecular, and in situ behavioral observations of the rare deep-sea anglerfishChaunacops coloratus (Garman, 1899), order Lophiiformes, in the eastern North Pacific. Deep-Sea Res. I. 68: 46-53.
  • Coykendall, D.K., Johnson, S.B., Karl, S.A., Lutz, R.A., Vrijenhoek, R.C., 2011. Genetic diversity and demographic instability in Riftia pachyptila tubeworms from eastern Pacific hydrothermal vents. BMC Evol. Biol. 11, 96: 11 pages.
  • Rouse, G.W., Goffredi, S.K., Johnson, S.B., Vrijenhoek, R.C., 2011. Not whale-fall specialists, Osedax worms also consume fishbones. Biology Letters 7 (5): 736-739.
  • Johnson, S.B., A. Warén, R.W. Lee, Y. Kano, A. Kaim, A. Davis, E.E. Strong, and R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2010. Rubyspira, new genus and two new species of bone-eating deep-sea snails with ancient habits. Bio. Bull. 219: 166-177.
  • Lundsten L., K.L. Schlining, K. Frasier, S.B. Johnson, L.A. Kuhnz, J.B.J. Harvey, G. Clague, and R.C Vrijenhoek. 2010. Time-series analysis of six whale-fall communities in Monterey Canyon, California, USA. Deep-Sea Res. I. 57: 1573-1584.
  • Ryan, J.P., S.B. Johnson, A. Sherman, K. Rajan, F. Py, H. Thomas, J.B.J. Harvey, L. Bird, J.D. Paduan, and R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2010. Mobile autonomous process sampling within coastal ocean observing systems. Limnol. Oceanogr. Methods. 8: 394-402.
  • Hilario, A. S.B. Johnson, M.R. Cunha, and R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2010. High diversity of frenulates (Polychaeta:Siboglinidae) in the Gulf of Cadiz mud volcanoes: A DNA taxonomy analysis. Deep-Sea Res. I. 57: 143-150.
  • Rouse, G.W., N.G. Wilson, S.K. Goffredi, S.B. Johnson, T. Smart, C. Widmer, C.M. Young, and R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2009. Spawning and development in Osedax boneworms (Siboglinidae,Annelida). Mar. Biol. 156: 395-405.
  • Vrijenhoek, R.C., S.B. Johnson, and G.W. Rouse. 2008. Bone-eating Osedax females and their ‘harems’ of dwarf males are recruited from a common larval pool. Molec. Ecol. 17: 4535-4544.
  • Johnson, S.B., A. Warén, and R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2008. DNA barcoding of Lepetodrilus limpets reveals cryptic species. J. Shellfish Res. 27: 43-51.
  • Génio, L., S.B. Johnson, R. C. Vrijenhoek, M.R. Cunha, P.A. Tyler, S. Kiel, and C.T.S. Little. 2008. New records of “Bathymodiolus” mauritanicus (Cosel 2002) from the Gulf of Cadiz (NE Atlantic) mud volcanos. J. Shellfish Res. 27: 53-61.
  • Rouse, G.W., K. Worsaae, S.B. Johnson, W.J. Jones, and R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2008. Acquisition of dwarf male ‘harems’ by recently settled females of Osedax roseus n. sp. (Siboglinidae; Annelida). Biol. Bull. 214: 67-82.
  • Jones, W.J., S.B. Johnson, G.W. Rouse, and R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2008. Marine Worms (genus Osedax) colonize cow bones. Proc. Royal Soc.  275: 387-391.
  • Foster, M.S., L.M. McConnico, L. Lundsten, T. Wadsworth, T. Kimball, L.B. Brooks, M. Medina-Lopez, R. Riosmena-Rodriguez, G. Hernandez-Carmona, R.M. Vasquez-Elizondo, S. Johnson, D.L. Steller. 2007. Diversity and natural history of a Lithamnion muelleri-Sargassum horridum community in the Gulf of California. Ciencias Marinas, 33: 367-384.
  • Braby, C.E., G.W. Rouse, S.B. Johnson, W.J. Jones, R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2007. Bathymetric and temporal variation among Osedax boneworms and associated megafauna on whale-falls in Monterey Bay, California. Deep-Sea Res. I., 54: 1773-1791.
  • Goffredi, S.K., S.B. Johnson, and R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2007. Genetic diversity and potential function of microbial symbionts associated with newly discovered species of Osedax polychaete worms.AEM,  73: 2314-2323.
  • Johnson, S.B., C.R. Young, W.J. Jones, A. Warén, and R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2006.  Migration, isolation and speciation of hydrothermal vent limpets (Gastropoda; Lepetodrilidae) across the Blanco Transform Fault. Bio. Bull., 210: 140-157.
  • Johnson, S.B. and J.G. Geller. 2006. Larval settlement can explain the adult distribution of Mytilus californianus Conrad but not of M. galloprovincialis Lamarck or M. trossulus Gould in Moss Landing, central California: Evidence from genetic identification of spat. JEMBE, 328: 136-145